REZN – Burden (REVIEW)

Chicago-based psych/stoner band REZN return with their latest album, “Burden” marking their first release on their new label Sargent House. This album is a dark and brooding counterpart to their previous work “Solace’ which was recorded in the same 2021 session. “Burden” represents a shift towards a more direct and intense approach to their songwriting.

The album opens with “Indigo” a track that blends electronic drums and stuttering vocal effects into a mesmerizing mix of prog, shoegaze, and doom. The interplay of sheer force and delicate textures, a hallmark of REZN’s sound, reaches new heights here, promising to attract a wave of new listeners.

Next comes “Instinct” radiating a sinister vibe with heavy, droning guitars and eerie vocals from Rob McWilliams. On tracks like “Bleak Patterns” and “Collapse” REZN ventures into Middle Eastern influences, weaving transcendent vocals that pull listeners deeper into their doom-laden soundscapes. Despite its nearly seven-minute runtime, “Bleak Patterns” remains compelling and dynamic, driven by haunting vocals and relentless guitar work.

“Soft Prey” offers a moment of respite, beginning with sparse guitar lines and McWilliams’ enchanting melodies, all wrapped in a psychedelic embrace with the addition of some incredible Sax work. The album culminates in the lead single “Chasm” a standout piece featuring Mike Sullivan of Russian Circles on additional guitar, adding a layer of depth to REZN’s already rich sound as it fiercely growls to a conclusion and all breaks down.

“Burden” is a concise and potent album, an anomaly in a genre known for its sprawling compositions. Yet, it boldly showcases REZN’s evolving artistry under the wings of Sargent House, marking a thrilling new chapter in their musical journey.